Anna Friel, Bob Hoskins and Rhys Ifans are to star in Neverland, a two-part, feature-length prequel to the Peter Pan story, which has been commissioned by the UK’s Sky Movies HD.

Production is due to begin next week in Genoa, before moving to Dublin. Nick Willing is directing, and has written the screenplay for Neverland, which is being billed as a bold new take on the original mythology of JM Barrie’s famous story, which delves into the history of the characters.

Ifans will play Captain Hook, alongside Friel who takes the part of Captain Elizabeth Bonny and Hoskins, who will reprise his from Steven Spielberg’s 1991 feature Hook, as Smee. –UP and coming child actor Charlie Rowe, whose credits already include Never Let Me Go and The Boat That Rocked, will play Peter Pan.

Dublin-based Parallel Films is producing the mini-series for Irish production company MNG Films in association with Syfy and Sky Movies HD.

The first original feature length commission for Sky Movies HD, it will air on Sky Movies Premiere HD in 2011.

Alan Moloney from Parallel Films said of the project: “The story of Peter Pan is one that resonates for every generation. Nick has brilliantly crafted something that makes sense of the story we all know and love. He takes us back in time and gives us the origins of Peter and Hook’s story in a way that will open this world up to everyone, no matter what their age. We are immensely grateful to Sky and Syfy and delighted that the film is being made in Ireland.”